Friday, 5 November 2010

I had me about 15 Dr Peppers...

You are a sufficiently precocious little boy that you know you are. It cracks me up.

A conversation at Tesco last week about the man in the moon led to you sitting and watching 'Apollo 13' with me the following afternoon, passing repeatedly, to my astonishment, my 'TV test' - if you can't tell me anything about the programme, it goes off.

"Watch... Pollo thirteen Daddy - spaceship go BANG!      Get - home.   Mmm." 

Fair play! That's pretty much the whole plot, and the special effects knock Peppa Pig into a cocked hat.

You will need to be a little older before you can enjoy many other Tom Hanks films with me, but I did think of you tonight as, having not eaten since lunchtime, I turned buffet-slayer at a House of Commons reception.

I can't eat the lovely food they lay on at Westminster without mentally referencing Forrest Gump:

"Now the really good thing about meetin' the President of the U-ni-ted States... is the food"

I can tell you that the very best thing about meeting anyone at the Palace of Westminster is the cocktail sausages on sticks, although I suspect if I'd been there on 'family' business, there wouldn't have been quite the same extravagant welcome.

When you're a separated Dad, your preoccupation with your missing child extends to situations where your children do not ordinarily accompany you.

As I dug into another canape portion of fish and chips, being bored to death by a stranger who seemed short of someone to talk to and had cornered me for the second time, I thought what you would have made it all.

I could almost picture you in your little suit, making a mess, munching on the prawn toast whilst trying to look like all the other people there, the average age of whom was a good 25 times your own, yet knowing all the time that you were being 'cute' - and sharing the joke. It's the fact that I see little glimpses of my own nature in you that reminds me you really are still my son - just.

I wish I could post a picture of you the last time you came to my office, stood on a packed platform in the morning peak, suited, booted, fruit shoot in hand and your 'paper under your arm, to prove my point.

This time last week, you were free as a bird. We'd been out into London to buy some more track for your model railway amongst other things. Tonight, you will have been waiting to be collected after another ten hour stint as a statistic for someone's business, to be fed and bundled into bed ready for another early start to do it all again tomorrow. Meantime, I've been doing politics, but of the 'paying the bills' sort, not that which I feel convicted to engage in.

Part of what I've had to learn this year is that when rights are stripped from you by force, those who stripped them, and those who commissioned them to, are the ones at fault. One day they will be accountable for their decisions.

If I could rescue you tonight, I would.

Love from Daddy.

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